I ducked into GW2 to check out the Christmas event. As usual, there is nothing to gain from doing the events except some cosmetic fluff, because god forbid you actually get to advance your GW2 character in any way. But I set aside my anti-horizontal-progression Scrooge-like sentiment for a bit and did the events anyway, and they’re kind of fun.
Most of them, anyway. There’s a dungeon which I skipped because I didn’t want to deal with a group. (Naturally most of the achievements revolve around the dungeon.) I did the snowball fight which is just a PvP Capture-the-Flag kind of game that doesn’t let you use any of the class abilities you’re used to. The bell-ringing event was interesting although I had to re-bind my keys to have even a remote chance of getting anywhere with it. (I use TRGVBH instead of the normal 123456.)
Then there is the jumping puzzle which is pure evil. I don’t do many jumping puzzles because, well, why bother? It’s just a stupid achievement. Maybe you find a chest at the end which gives you … nothing worth anything because your character is already 80. But I thought, okay, well, this is a special jumping thing, and it’s for the kids, right? They need their presents delivered. So I got into the Christmas spirit, thinking it wouldn’t take very long anyway. Well three days and fifty thousand deaths later, I finally did manage to get through it and jump into the big Christmas box at the end.
You’d think that getting through that jumping puzzle of doom once would be enough to get a big fat achievement, but nope. That’s only Stage I of the achievement. Next you have to get through it twenty times to complete Stage II. I shudder to think what’s after that.
And by the way you don’t get anything but Wintersday gifts when you get to the end. So far I haven’t gotten anything useful from opening Wintersday gifts (except the achievement), and I haven’t found anything worth trading for the old socks or whatever.
So here’s my problem with the jumping puzzle. There are three paths up there right? But you don’t get anything special for making it up each path. Why isn’t that an achievement? The other problem I have with the jumping puzzle is the teeth-gritting determination I now have to get that Winter Wonderland Mastery achievement if it’s the last thing I do. I can get past the snowflakes with about 50-75% reliability now depending on how "fresh" I am, and I’d say it’s about a 50/50 chance I’ll get over the disappearing gift boxes, and after that I’ve got about a 75% chance of getting past the rolling snowballs, because that part’s pretty easy. So I figure if I keep at it I should have that Mastery within a week.
So here’s my unwanted advice. The trick to getting over the snowflakes is to not think about it too much. The more I try to concentrate on the jumping, the worse I do. The hardest parts for me are when you have to go over the two little candy-can logs because it’s not a straight-forward jump and it totally wrecks whatever rhythm you’ve built-up from the snowflakes. You have to let up on your forward key after you jump or else you’ll sail past where you can land.
I recommend taking the “2 chances” option from the Asura dude. The presents are completely worthless because you can get tons of them from other events. Going over the boxes, I find it easiest to go straight up and forward, which seems to work most of the time if you get the jumping rhythm working right. (You can still make it, by the way, if one of the last two boxes disappears under you – just keep jumping and you can sort of scale that wall.) If I have to go left or right my chances of making it drop dramatically.
I usually stop after I get over the gift boxes otherwise the snowman’s breath of wind usually knocks me off. I see a lot of people that keep charging forward and get knocked off.
The rolling snowball boulders is the easiest part, as long as you remember that it’s easy to slip off to your death. Don’t try to go diagonally over any corners – I fell a lot like that. If you go through it "normally" you won’t have to worry about getting caught in a red circle.
I do the final jumping part pretty conservatively, and I always stop after each jump so I don’t have much forward momentum. The jump distances are pretty short and I’m afraid I’d overshoot my targets. I’ve always had plenty of time before freezing to death.
So that’s how you do it. Piece of cake. And I don’t know why I wrote that much about it, except that I’ve been doing it over and over and over and over again.
P.S. I got the Winter Wonderland Mastery achievement! It then reset so I could do it over again, so now it looks like I didn’t get it at all. Lame.